New Telemedicine Policy Pleases Some, Others Have Issues

From Medscape (subscription required):

The Federation of State Medical Boards (FSMB) on April 26 adopted a “model policy on the appropriate use of telemedicine technology in the practice of medicine” at its annual meeting in Denver, but not everyone is entirely happy with it.

While the new policy is not binding on the federation’s member boards, the FSMB said in a statement that the document “provides much-needed guidance and a basic roadmap that state boards can use to ensure that patients are protected from harm in a fast-changing health-care delivery environment.”

The model policy states that the same standards of care should be applied to in-person patient encounters and to care that is delivered electronically. In addition, providers should establish a credible patient-physician relationship in telemedicine consultations and should “adhere to well-established principles guiding privacy and security of personal health information, informed consent, safe prescribing and other key areas of medical practice,” according to the news release.

Emergency Medicine’s Own Google

From Emergency Medicine News:

iClickEM, Dr. Peck said in his own blog, Teach, MD, “will host all EM knowledge on the entirety of the Internet that is relevant to the EM provider. This knowledge will be delivered by powerful artificial intelligence, which grows smarter with every use. The more EM physicians who use it, the better the results will become.”

Cincinnati first in U.S. to use devices that stream live info from paramedics to E.R. docs

From the Cincinnati Business Record:

Emergency room doctors will soon be able to view real-time medical data of patients and live video of injuries that Cincinnati firefighters/paramedics will stream to hospitals from the scene of an accident or major disaster.

The battlefield-proven medical technology is being made possible by a $100,000 grant to the Cincinnati Fire Foundation byWestern & Southern Financial Group, which specializes in life insurance.

The donation will pay for four Tempus Pro monitoring devices, which emergency responders with the Cincinnati Fire Department will be able to use at the scenes of car accidents or disasters with mass casualties.

Telemedicine’s Expanding Options

From HealthLeaders Media:

Spurred by interest from insurance companies and employers, physicians are ramping up their ability to make an increasing number of patient encounters online or over the phone.

“We need to meet consumers where they are, knowing that often consumers aren’t able to get to the doctor during the workday or on the weekends, and they end up going to the emergency room or the urgent care room for inappropriate use of care, and so we have a service that truly gets to the consumer 24 hours, seven days a week, 365 days of the year, and it’s a real doctor every single time,” says Matt Marek, vice president of product and marketing at 2.6-million-member BlueCross and BlueShield of Minnesota.

“We believe this is the next generation of retail care that we saw at Target and MinuteClinic years ago, where we’re truly trying to serve the consumer beyond normal doctor hours,” Marek says.

Medical slang: What doctors call you behind your back

From the Calgary Herald:

From The Secret Language of Doctors, by Dr. Brian Goldman, here is a partial list of slang terms used by some medical professionals in Canadian and U.S. hospitals:

Status dramaticus: A patient who loudly and dramatically magnifies symptoms to get quicker medical attention.

Horrendoma: Refers to a horrendous medical condition.

Groom suffers medical emergency at wedding, finished vows in emergency room

From WTAE:

“I thought it was anxiety and the next thing I knew, I was having a medical problem,” Robert said. “I was all dressed up in my suit and tie, which is a rarity, to get married. But it didn’t work out that way.”

Leuthold and Walter told Robert he needed to go to the hospital because his life was in danger. They transported him to the Forbes Hospital emergency room with Mary Alice in the passenger seat.

Once stabilized in the emergency room, nurses crafted makeshift wedding decorations. Wedding guests, the priest, Leuthold and Walter packed inside the room as Robert and Mary Alice exchanged vows and were married.

Federation of State Medical Boards Approves Model Telehealth Policy

From Modern Healthcare:

The Federation of State Medical Boards approved a model telehealth policy this weekend that’s made some providers of these services happy and others, well, not so much, because of its emphasis on using video rather than audio technology for a first patient visit.

“This policy is a bold step toward a reality where all patients can access quality care irrespective of time, place and location,” said Dr. Roy Schoenberg, CEO of American Well, a Boston-based telemedicine technology and service provider that relies of video technology favored in the policy, in a news release. “Now that the federation has done its job as leaders, we look to states to do the same—embrace this model policy, and thereby ensure that only safe, secure and appropriate care can be delivered through today’s telehealth technologies.”

Researchers Share Way to Stop Children from Unnecessary ER Trips

From NY1:

“Parents tend to get very scared,” says Fatima Beccar-Verela, education supervisor with Early Head Start. “The first thing they’ll do is to rush to the emergency room.”

That contributes to the over-use of emergency departments across the country.

Working with four Early Head Start programs, researchers from Columbia’s Mailman School of Public Health found that that could change with targeted intervention.

“We found that when we embedded an educational intervention for upper respiratory infections into Early Head Start that we were able to impact the way that families were caring for their children,” says Dr. Melissa Stockwell, assistant professor at the Columbia Mailman School of Public Health, Pediatrics and Population Health. “We were able to decrease emergency room visits and also decrease adverse care practices.”

Hacking the hospital: medical devices have terrible default security

From Boing Boing:

Scott Erven is head of information security for a healthcare provider called Essentia Health, and his Friday presentation at Chicago’s Thotcon, “Just What The Doctor Ordered?” is a terrifying tour through the disastrous state of medical device security.

Wired’s Kim Zetter summarizes Erven’s research, which ranges from the security of implanted insulin pumps and defibrillators to surgical robots and MRIs. Erven and his team discovered that hospitals are full of fundamentally insecure devices, and that these insecurities are not the result of obscure bugs buried deep in their codebase (as was the case with the disastrous Heartbleed vulnerability), but rather these are incredibly stupid, incredibly easy to discover mistakes, such as hardcoded easy default passwords. For example: surgical robots have their own internal firewall. If you run a vulnerability scanner against that firewall, it just crashes, and leaves the robot wide open.

When Radiologists Take a Selfie

From Imgur: